August 3, 2021

Kamala Harris calls on Guatemala to tackle the causes of illegal immigration

US Vice President Kamala Harris’s first international tour comes as part of President Joe Biden’s pledge to adopt a more migration policy. “Human” than that of his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump.

“Most people don’t want to leave their homes”, but do it because“They cannot meet their basic needs”, assured, on Monday, June 7, in Guatemala Mme Harris, calling on the country to work together to tackle the causes of illegal immigration in the USA. “It is in our collective interest that we work together where we can find the opportunity to solve long-standing problems”, she said during a roundtable with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.

The Vice President of the United States stressed the need to give “a sense of hope” and affirmed that “Help is on the way” in a region hard hit by Covid-19, violence and poverty exacerbated in 2020 by the passage of two hurricanes. But according to her, “There is no such thing as hope. It must be associated with relationships of trust, it must be associated with tangible results ” in order to “Convince people that there is a reason to hope for their future”.

In a country where nearly 60% of the 17 million inhabitants live in poverty, Mr. Giammattei underlined the “Need to build walls of prosperity, in particular in the departments close to the border with Mexico”, by creating jobs.

Read also Migrants: Kamala Harris wants to bring a message of “hope” to Mexico and Guatemala

“Don’t come”

Mme Harris sent a message to the candidates for the underground trip: “Don’t come. Don’t come. The United States will continue to enforce their laws and secure their borders… If you come to our border, you will be turned away ”, she said at a joint press conference.

She also announced the creation of a joint working group on smuggling and human trafficking, the establishment of an economic program for women, as well as an anti-corruption working group to train Guatemalan prosecutors. to trace the route of foreign bribery money. “We talked about the importance of fighting corruption and having an independent judiciary”, underlined Mme Harris, also announcing the shipment by the United States of 500,000 doses of vaccine against Covid-19 to Guatemala.

The number of undocumented people arrested at the border between Mexico and the United States reached in April its highest level in fifteen years. Of these more than 178,600 migrants, including minors who arrived alone, 82% came from Mexico and the northern triangle of Central America – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. On Tuesday, the vice-president is due to travel to Mexico to meet with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The World with AFP